AP Sports

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February 21, 2018
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February 21, 2018
AP Sports


Update on the latest in sports:

Vonn takes bronze, Goggia wins

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) – Lindsey Vonn fell a little short of winning her second women’s Olympic downhill gold medal.

The American came away with the bronze by finishing 0.47 seconds behind the gold medal-winning Sofia Goggia (GOH’-jah) of Italy. The 33-year-old Vonn becomes the oldest female medalist in Alpine skiing at the Winter Games.

Goggia finished in a time of 1 minute, 39.22 seconds to hold off Norwegian Ragnhild Mowinckel by 0.09 seconds.

Elsewhere at the Winter Games:

– The United States has won its first Olympic gold medal in women’s cross-country skiing, and Norwegian skier Marit Bjoergen has become the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time by taking bronze at the Pyeongchang Games. The Americans posted the fastest time in the semifinals to start on the front row in the finals. Jessica Diggins passed the Swedes and the Norwegians on the final lap to make history in a major upset. Sweden took silver. Bjoergen and teammate Maiken Caspersen Falla won the bronze.

– Russian figure skaters Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva were the leaders after their record-setting performances in the short program. The 15-year-old Zagitova performed a flawless “Black Swan” routine to score 82.92 points inside Gangneung Ice Arena. That topped the score of 81.61 that Medvedeva put up three skaters ahead of her, a record that held for about 15 minutes. Mirai Nagasu was the top American in ninth place, just ahead of teammates Karen Chen and Bradie Tennell.

– The U.S. men’s hockey team has ended its medal hopes with a 3-2 loss to the Czech Republic in a shootout. Petr Kouka scored in the fifth round and Pavel Francouz was perfect in the shootout, sending the Czechs into the semifinals. Ryan Donato and Jim Slater scored for the Americans.

– Russian women’s curling coach Sergei Belano says he is convinced a Russian curler charged with doping was slipped meldonium without his knowledge. Belano says he doesn’t believe Alexander Krushelnitsky would have taken the drug because it would be foolish to do so.



Russian athletes allege libel by ex-anti-doping agency head

NEW YORK (AP) – Three Russian biathletes have sued the country’s former anti-doping laboratory director, saying he severely damaged or destroyed their careers with lies.

The athletes have filed a $30 million libel lawsuit in Manhattan State Supreme Court against Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, who lives in hiding in the United States.

Rodchenkov has denied claims by Russian President Vladimir Putin that U.S. agencies controlled his unmasking of the scandal.



Spartans hammer Illini for 11th straight win

UNDATED (AP) – Red-hot Michigan State has wrapped up a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship in men’s basketball with a convincing home win against Illinois.

Miles Bridges scored 19 points and the second-ranked Spartans ripped the Illini, 81-61 to improve to 15-2 in the conference. Joshua Langford had 16 for Michigan State, which led by just three points before opening the second half on a 12-1 run.

The Spartans are 27-3 following their 11th consecutive victory.

Checking out Tuesday’s other top-25 finals:

– C.J. Jackson scored 18 points and 16th-ranked Ohio State completed its home schedule by clobbering Rutgers, 79-52. Kaleb Wesson finished with 14 points and Kam Williams had 13 as the Buckeyes bounced back from consecutive road losses that dropped them from the top of the Big Ten standings.

– Jeff Dowtin capped his 23-point performance by hitting four free throws in the final seconds to push No. 18 Rhode Island past La Salle, 95-93. Stanford Robinson chipped in 20 points and Jared Terrell had 14 to help the Rams clinch a share of the Atlantic 10 regular-season title.

– No. 21 West Virginia earned a 71-60 win at Baylor behind 15 points apiece from Jevon Carter and Esa Ahmad. Sagaba Konate had 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks for the Mountaineers, who led by as many as 28 and ended the Bears’ five-game winning streak.



Louisville must vacate basketball title as NCAA denies appeal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Louisville has been stripped of its 2013 men’s basketball title and will have to vacate 123 victories, along with millions in conference revenue from the 2012-15 NCAA tournaments.

The NCAA Infraction Appeals Committee says the association has the authority to take away championships for what it considers major rule violations. It also refuted Louisville’s position that the NCAA exceeded its boundaries and didn’t follow its own precedent established in other cases.

The punishment follows an embarrassing sex scandal involving former basketball staffer Andre McGee, who was accused of hiring an escort and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits.



Struggling Hornets fire general manager

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The struggling Hornets have fired general manager Rich Cho.

Team owner Michael Jordan announced the news in a release Tuesday, saying “we’re deeply committed to our fans and to the city of Charlotte to provide a consistent winner on the court.”

Charlotte is 24-33 and on the verge of failing to reach the playoffs for the second straight season.

Jordan’s college teammate Buzz Peterson was hired last year as the team’s assistant general manager is a potential replacement. Cho was hired as GM in 2011 and assumed day-to-day responsibilities of the basketball operations department in 2014.



Bolts double up Caps

UNDATED (AP) – The Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals continue to own one-point division leads. The Lightning stayed atop the Atlantic Division by knocking off the Metropolitan Division leaders.

Brayden Point scored twice in the first period and Andrei Vasilevskiy turned back 35 shots as the Lightning doubled up the Capitals, 4-2. Chris Kunitz also scored while the Lightning took a 3-0 lead in the opening period.

The Capitals eventually got within 3-2 on Alex Ovechkin’s league-high 36th goal of the season midway through the third period, but Nikita Kucherov (KOO’-cheh-rahv) capped the scoring four minutes later before Tampa Bay improved to a league-best 40-17-3.

Tampa Bay’s lead remains one point after the Bruins scored three times in the last 15 1/2 minutes to pull out a 3-2 comeback win at Edmonton. David Krejci (KRAY’-chee) provided the winning goal with 1:04 remaining following tallies by Noel Acciari and Matt Grzelcyk (gur-ZEHL’-chihk).

Anton Khudobin (kuh-DOH’-bihn) made 18 saves for the Bruins, who have won 13 of their last 16 games.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

– Viktor Arvidsson’s third-period goal was the eventual game-winner as the Predators nipped the Red Wings, 3-2. Scott Hartnell and Kyle Turris (TOOR’-his) also scored, and Juuse Saros (YOO’-say SAH’-rohs) handled 34 shots in Nashville’s fourth win in six games.

– The Predators now lead the Central Division by two points after the second-place Jets absorbed a 4-3 loss to the Kings. The game was tied 2-2 until Torrey Mitchell and Dustin Brown scored consecutive goals in the third period, allowing Los Angeles to finish 4-3-0 on its seven-game road trip.

– Frederik Andersen picked up his fifth shutout of the season and 15th of his career by making 40 saves in the Maple Leafs’ 1-0 triumph over the Panthers. James van Riemsdyk (REEMZ’-dyk) scored late in the first period of Toronto’s seventh win in eight games, a stretch that puts them four points off the Atlantic Division lead.

– The Flyers are 7-0-2 in their last nine games after Jakub Voracek scored the tying and winning goals in a 3-2 overtime victory against Montreal. Voracek knotted the score with 1:25 remaining in regulation and completed his three-point performance by tallying 86 seconds into OT, putting Philadelphia within three points of the Metropolitan Division lead.

– Scott Harrington furnished the tiebreaking goal and the Blue Jackets ended a three-game losing streak by downing the Devils, 2-1 at Newark. Boone Jenner also scored and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30 shots as Columbus ended New Jersey’s four-game winning streak.

– Logan Couture and Mikkel Boedker (MY’-kul BAHD’-kur) each had a goal and an assist while the Sharks were scoring three times in the second period of a 3-2 verdict over the Blues. Martin Jones made 30 saves in helping the Sharks get within eight points of the Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights.

– The Avalanche stormed back from a 4-1, second-period deficit and beat the Canucks, 5-4 on Nathan McKinnon’s goal 3:36 into overtime. Tyson Barrie assisted on second-period goals by Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog (LAN’-dehs-kahg) before scoring the equalizer with 3:01 left in regulation.



Flyers lose Simmonds for 2-3 weeks

UNDATED (AP) – The Philadelphia Flyers will spend the next two to three weeks without forward Wayne Simmonds because of an upper-body injury suffered in Sunday’s win over the Rangers. He was involved in a first-period tussle in Sunday’s game and landed a fight-ending left hand to the side of Tony DeAngelo’s helmet. Simmonds has 20 goals and 37 points in 59 games for the Flyers, who are also without starting goaltender Brian Ellott and backup Michal Neuvirth (NOY’-vurth).

Also in the NHL:

– The Maple Leafs have traded forward Eric Fehr (fehr) to the Sharks for a seventh-round draft pick in the 2020 draft. The 32-year-old Fehr played in four games with the Leafs this season and was loaned to the AHL’s San Diego Gulls, where he has provided 17 goals and 28 points in 34 games since arriving there in November.

– The Rangers have shipped defenseman Nick Holden to the Bruins for minor league defenseman Rob O’Gara and a third-round pick in this year’s draft. Holden skated in 135 games with the Rangers over parts of the last two seasons, scoring 14 goals and 46 points.

– The Canucks have signed defenseman Erik Gudbranson to a three-year contract extension worth $4 million a season. The 26-year-old Gudbranson has two goals and two assists with a minus-4 in 41 games this season.

– Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe will miss the remainder of the season to have surgery to repair a shoulder injury that has nagged him for much of the year. The third-year player had three goals and nine assists for 12 points in 53 games this season.



Titans, kicker work out extension

UNDATED (AP) – Tennessee Titans kicker Ryan Succop (SUK’-ahp) has agreed to terms on a multiyear contract extension. Succop scored a career-high 136 points in 2017 to tie Al Del Greco’s 1998 franchise record. He also set an NFL record last season by hitting 56 consecutive field goal attempts from inside 50 yards, a streak that began in 2014.

Also in the NFL:

– Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry has been given a non-exclusive franchise tag by the team after leading the NFL with 112 catches in 2017. The value of the tag is expected to be about $16 million.

– The Houston Texans have released veteran linebacker Brian Cushing, who appeared in just five games last season. The 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year is the franchise’s all-time leader in tackles with 664, but his career has been marked by two suspensions for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancers.

– The Jaguars have exercised club options on veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis and backup offensive linemen Tyler Shatley and Josh Wells. The 33-year-old Lewis is the longest-tenured player on the team’s roster. He is due to make $3.5 million in 2018.



DBacks, Yanks in 3-team swap with Rays

UNDATED (AP) – The Arizona Diamondbacks have sent infielder Brandon Drury to the New York Yankees and received outfielder Steven Souza Jr. from the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-team trade that includes five players.

Arizona pitching prospect Anthony Banda goes to the Rays, who also get minor league second baseman Nick Solak from the Yankees and two players to be named from the Diamondbacks. Minor league right-hander Taylor Widener goes from New York to Arizona.

Drury hit .267 with 13 home runs and 63 RBIs in 135 games last season, while Souza batted .239 with a career-high 30 home runs and 78 RBIs.

In other MLB news:

– Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy says he isn’t sure his surgically-repaired right knee will be ready by opening day. Murphy underwent an operation to repair cartilage shortly after last season, a procedure than included micro-fracture surgery. Doctors told him recovery time would be four to six months, and the 32-year-old Murphy already has full range of motion in his knee. Murphy led the National League with 43 doubles last season while batting .322 with 23 homers, 93 RBIs and 94 runs scored.

– The Twins have finalized their one-year, non-guaranteed contract with pitcher Anibal (AH’-nih-bahl) Sanchez. The right-hander led the American League in ERA five years ago, but he’s just 20-30 with a 5.67 earned run average in 88 games over the past three seasons.

– Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda has been hospitalized in the Bay Area. The Giants had no further details. The 80-year-old Cepeda has been a regular at Giants home games and attended an 80th birthday event for Hall of Famer Willie McCovey last month.



Woods, Stricker to be vice captains at Ryder Cup

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) – Tiger Woods will be in France this year for the Ryder Cup as a vice captain. Still to be determined is whether he gets to play.

U.S. captain Jim Furyk appointed Woods and Steve Stricker as two more of his vice captains for the Sept. 28-30 matches at Le Golf National.

AP-WF-02-21-18 1136GMT